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2021 Edition (25th Anniversary Issue)

Patriot Blue cover of The 2021 Gold Star Journal


  • Jake Norris, 2022, Computer Science Major.

Assistant Editor-in-Chief

  • Taylor Diggs, 2022, Political Science Major.

Executive Editor

  • Carleton Bailiff III, 2021, Psychology Major.

The Editors

  • Daniel Wilkes, 2021, Political Science and History Double Major.
  • Bryce Garcia, 2022, Political Science Major.
  • Harrison Wedgeworth, 2021, French and English Double Major.
  • Briona Gray, 2021, Criminal Justice Major.


The 2021 GSJ Cover Photograph

Ultimate Judge

Dashawn Costley, Class of 2022, Psychology Major.

To view the entire 2021 edition, click this link or the cover above.

To view the abstract of a paper, click on the associated link in the listing below.


The Boyd Family Distinction Award

This recognition comes with a monetary award of $800.

German War Graves: A tragic and Somber Reminder of Cost of War

Nick Fricchione

This paper investigates the history of American, British, and German war cemeteries of the First and Second World War. It compares and contrasts both the purposes of these cemeteries and the physical construction. This includes the design, architecture, planning, and philosophy behind each country’s cemeteries. Also discussed is each country’s war cemetery organization including its origins, goals, and practices. Ultimately, it is determined that while these cemeteries fulfill the same purpose, they were built for distinct reasons: the Allied cemeteries celebrated the sacrifices made for a noble cause while the German cemeteries emphasized the camaraderie between servicemen and universal human suffering. 

trophy for The Boyd Family Distinction Award

blue ribbon for best photograph submission

Photograph of entitled Abandoned Chair

Best Photograph

This recognition comes with a monetary award of $400.

Abandoned Chair

Jacob Williams, Class of 2022, Chemistry Major.

Electric Car Battery Development and Analysis

Dylan R. Wood

The purpose of this report is to identify materials and design considerations for electric car battery packs, noting impacts on affordability and energy efficiencies. This report recommends battery cathode material and cell placement to make the electric vehicle perform most efficiently while minimizing environmental impact. The properties analyzed to construct an electric battery to have more efficiency while minimizing environmental impact. The material properties analyzed to construct an electric battery to have more efficiency in power, cost, safety, and life span. This report further compared an electric car to a gasoline car base on delivering acceleration while remaining energy efficient. Finally, this report examined the composition of the battery to address environmental concerns. 

Cleopatra: The Propagated Villian of Rome

Hannah Dion

Though she may be Egyptian, Cleopatra’s story is entangled within the foundations of a new period of the Roman empire. Pitting her as his political nemesis, Augustus created a worthy opponent on his rise to power, yet the propaganda that fabricated her infamous legacy failed to cement her as such a villain. Even today, Cleopatra is regarded as a political superpower, a woman ahead of her time, and one of the best female leaders the ancient world had ever seen.

Photograph entitled In The Pines


In The Pines

William Berry Prioleau Moran, Class of 2023, Mechanical Engineering Major.

Best Undergraduate Submission

This recognition comes with a monetary award of $600.

One Belt and One Road Right Through Ethiopia?

Thomas Kyte

Ethiopia is currently playing an important role in the PRC’s One Belt One Road Initiative that makes it not only critical for the future of mainland China but also puts their own future in a unique position as well. Ethiopia’s central location in the Horn of Africa, authoritarian regime, and large reserves of cheap fossil fuels have made them subject to billions of dollars’ worth of predatory loans from the PRC the affect of which is far reaching beyond their borders. Technology diffusion and infrastructure development has the potential to greatly change Ethiopia for the better or worse depending on how they decide to move forward.

trophy for best undergraduate submission

Cybersecurity and Cryptography: The Interrelation

Jalen Singleton

Cybersecurity and Cryptography are essential in today’s world as organizations advance the collection, processing, and storing of unprecedented amounts of data on computers and digital operating devices. Large volumes of sensitive information such as personal information, financial data, intellectual property or other unauthorized data comprises today’s normal business functions. This sensitive information, if compromised, could have huge negative financial, security, business, production, and market share consequences thus justifying the need for advanced technologies defined by cybersecurity and cryptography initiatives. 

Photograph entitled A Day in Havana


A Day in Havana

Anna Britton, Graduate Student, Undeclared Major.

The Importance of Military Disciplines in the 17th Century Manchu Army as Seen in

Dzengseo's "Diary of my Service in the Army"

Joseph M. Field

This essay explores the importance of military discipline in the Manchu army in the 17th century through the primary source document of Dzengseo’s “Diary of my Service in the Army.” This essay argues that leaders of the Manchu army largely enforced discipline for practical, not moral, reasons. These practical reasons include facilitating the Manchu army’s appropriation of civilians’ crops and livestock, preserving the rank structure with regards to allocating the spoils of war, and encouraging the enemy to surrender as opposed to fighting to the death.

Geopolitical Impacts of Wahhabism in the Middle East

Ashley Ruiz

This essay discusses the geopolitical impacts that the spread of Wahhabism has had on Saudi Arabia domestically and regionally. It examines the origin of Wahhabism, its modern-day implications, and how it has fostered an environment for extremism in the Middle East.

 Implications of Quantum Computing on Computational Complexity Theory

Shiloh Smiles

Quantum computing is a new, shallowly-explored field in computer science. Its ability to compute and store in non-binary operations revolutionizes how basic gates and mathematics operate, allowing for an entire new system of computing. This paves the way for a new understanding of computational complexity theory

Best Graduate Submission

This recognition comes with a monetary award of $500.

Engaged Containment: A Viable Solution to the North Korea Problem

Frank Hoffman

Despite occupying less landmass than most American states, North Korea has remained a fixture of United States foreign policy. The U.S. has shifted between two potures to achieve its foreign policy aims toward the nation. The policy of engagement seeks diplomatic engagement with the hermit kingdom, whereas the policy of containment seeks to trigger a Soviet style collapse through isolating the nation. This work will examine the efficacy of both policies and present a fusion of these postures: “Engaged Containment” as a viable approach for the United States to accomplish its foreign policy goals toward North Korea.

trophy for best graduate submission

blue ribbon for The GSJ Distinction in Photography

The GSJ Distinction in Photography

This recognition comes with a monetary award of $400.




Strange Times

Chase Robert Ervin, Class of 2022, Civil Engineering Major.

Photograph entitled Serenity Photograph entitled Salute Photograph entitled Curiosity  Photograph entitled StrangeTimes


 The 2021 edition was made possible by donations from the following individuals and groups:

  • The Daniel Library
  • Mr. Frank Fricchione, Parent, '21
  • Dr. Suzanne T. Mabrouk and Mr. Stephen S. Jones
  • CDR and Mrs. W. Keith Midgette, '76
  • LT Grant N. Miller, '18

The Gold Star Journal Excellence Award, which provides funds towards to the Student Awards, was made possible by donations from:

Dr. and Mrs. James F. Boyd, Class of 1971.

GSJ donation button

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